Thor became much more human in End Game. That’s a good thing.
Have you seen Avengers: Endgame? If you haven’t, all I can tell you is that the movie is worth seeing. But this post isn’t about critiquing the film. Goodness knows there are more reviews online than you can shake a stick at.
Nope, instead, this post is specifically about Chris Hemsworth’s character Thor: King of Asgard, son of Odin and Frigga. In certain circles, he’s also known as the “God of Thunder”.
That’s right – a god. According to Norse legend, Thor ruled all things sky, including agriculture.
The inspiration for this blog entry came to me after reading several pieces on the web suggesting the latest installment of Avengers from the MCU engaged in “fat shaming”. Just head on over to Buzzfeed to see precisely what I’m talking about.
And that is just one example.
A simple Google search will reveal similar articles that follow the same theme. “Thor Fat Jokes Are A Problem” and “Why Did They Make Thor a Fatty” are a few more.
One headline even screams, “Avengers End Game taken to task for fat-shaming and PTSD” (see link).
Bear in mind that after the last Avengers movie (Infinity War), Thor was emotionally broken. Let’s look at how that happened:
- His father, Odin, was dead (died in Thor Ragnarok).
- His mother, Frigga, died in the previous epoch, Infinity War.
- Thanks to Thanos (Infinity War) half of all life had vanished, taking many who were close to Thor, including his brother, Loki.
Seriously, after losing so many people – and in such a short time period – who wouldn’t be depressed? What’s more, who wouldn’t lose their motivation for exercise and fitness?
Thor’s character in End Game offers an all too realistic view of how even strong people can succumb to depression and addiction.
Let’s face it, The God of Thunder in this film was anything but godly. Instead, we saw a drunk, fragile, out of shape mess. As much as we would like to have seen Thor in all of his power and glory, that just didn’t happen.
And maybe that’s a good thing.
One of the reasons superheroes have caught on in recent years is because their personal stories speak to our humanity. While each may possess special powers, all of them have weaknesses that endear us to them.
For some of Thor’s followers, seeing him in this way was probably shocking. I know it was (initially) for me. But when I considered what he had been through, it all made sense.
“Who wouldn’t lose their motivation for exercise and fitness?”
That said, let’s be real – one could hardly call Thor “fat” in this film. Sure, he had a muffin-top and a beer belly. But fat? I think not.
In other words, the so-called “fat shaming” that allegedly took place is a bunch of crap.
Instead, what really happened in this movie was a humorous (and effective) attempt at highlighting how loss can profoundly impact the body and mind.
Contextualized by grief, it is why you saw Thor addicted to booze and why his muscles had turned to flab. Right before your eyes, he became extremely human.
And you know what else? He also became someone you could relate to.
Rather than focusing on faux fat-shaming narratives, wouldn’t it be better to assess Thor’s character in End Game for who he is instead of how we wished him to be?
Websites and news portals that report on entertainment pieces need to be more responsible in accusing films and their characters of fat shaming.
Say what you want about this movie but making fun of overweight folks it did not.
I’m turning the mic over to you now. Do you think Avengers End Game was an exercise in Fat Shaming? Share your comments in the box below.